Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Queen Latifah Opens Up to UPTOWN About Playing Bessie Smith in HBO Movie

For several slow-burning, agonizing moments, Queen Latifah sits stark naked. Drenched in stillness, her 5-foot-10-inch frame settles, mostly without obstruction, forcing your senses to entirely digest these on-screen minutes unhurried. It’s an unfiltered scene, not offensive or vulgar, but calm and altogether
empty and melancholic. Unpacking unseen weight of fame and personal devastation, the multifaceted entertainer peels off her gaudy jewels along with her stewing emotions – fully committed to creating the most powerful scene of HBO’s anticipated Bessie – a biopic of blues icon Bessie Smith. “I’ve never done that before,” the newly-turned 45-year-old, born Dana Owens, says as she drives up the California hills toward back-to-back meetings. “It was a little odd but it was also a quiet, relaxing thing. Sometimes she was so alone, and it was a moment for Bessie to acknowledge her vulnerability, which I can completely relate to. When you get to strip it all down and have a moment to yourself, sometimes the world comes crashing down in that little moment, or maybe it’s a moment of peace.”

Watch the trailer here:

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